How To Coach – The Best Approach

16 - John Wooden

John Wooden is recognized to be the most successful coach in the history of collective professional sports. Ten times NCAA basketball champion in 12 years, he achieved an unprecedented record of 7 titles in a row. Yes, SEVEN! Can you guess how many times in the whole history of all sports combined the world has ever had a 7 in a row champion? Not many…

We’re talking about the best of the best at coaching, teaching and mentoring. Luckily his methodology was studied and, what’s most intriguing, other great Masters of coaching share the same ideology, posture and advice of the so-called “Wizard Of Westwood”.

Forget about inspiring speeches, strategic drawings on the board, extra work for the lazy, character or personality, expressions of displeasure, praise and compliments. Clear your mind and come along:

  1. Planned workouts;
  2. Short drills;
  3. Rapid fire stream of words while performance occurs;
  4. Short, punctuated and numerous comments;
  5. Hard driving quick steps instructions;
  6. Information on what to do, how to do it and when to intensify an activity;
  7. Demonstrate the right way to do a drill, exemplify the incorrect way and re-display the correct way;
  8. Short and clear demonstrations of performance;
  9. Intensification of guidance as the practice session moves on;
  10. Undivided attention to the smallest detail;
  11. Spontaneous instructions and decisions as reactions to the student’s actions;
  12. Set specific goals;
  13. Set targeted information;
  14. Fix errors on the fly;
  15. Communicate in chunks – teach an entire move and break it down to the fundamental actions (Deep Practice Method applied to coaching);
  16. Explanation – Demonstration – Imitation – Correction – Repetition;
  17. Work on small daily improvements (it works and last longer);
  18. Repetition until automaticity;
  19. The deeper you practice, the better you get;
  20. Rest, focus and start again.

Important: The premise for the described approach considers already ignited and inspired advanced learners. Before this stage Master coaches are able to create and sustain motivation to get the learner involved, craving for information and expertise. Positive reinforcement is highly advised.

For more on the subject check “The Talent Code”, by Daniel Coyle

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